Monday, June 17, 2024

Climate change may cause biodiversity decline: Study

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Climate change could become the main driver of biodiversity decline by the mid-century, new research has found.
Studying changes in land-use patterns and their impacts on biodiversity, an international team of researchers found that biodiversity around the world could have declined by 2-11 per cent.
“By including all world regions in our model, we were able to fill many blind spots and address criticism of other approaches working with fragmented and potentially biased data,” said Henrique Pereira, research group head at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and the first author of the study published in the journal ‘Science’.
Examining how biodiversity and ecosystems might evolve in the future, the researchers found that the combined effects of land-use change and climate change lead to biodiversity loss across all global regions, regardless of emissions scenario.
“We found that climate change poses an imminent threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services. While land-use change has historically been a significant factor, our findings indicate that climate change could overtake it as the primary driver of biodiversity loss by mid-century,” explained study co-author, David Leclère, a researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria.
The researchers called for a “truly integrated approach” considering varied sustainability aspects to reduce conflicts between policies and safeguard biodiversity in the coming decades.

“For instance, while bio-energy deployment is still a critical element of the majority of climate stabilisation scenarios, it also poses a threat to species habitats,” said IIASA Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program Director Petr Havlík, one of the study co-authors. The findings suggested that conservation and restoration efforts should be prioritised globally as necessary natural climate solutions, the authors said.

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